USPS ready for holiday crush after influx of mail-in ballots

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service gave a solid performance in delivering mail-in ballots for the midterm elections and is ready to dive into the crush of holiday deliveries, officials said Thursday.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said 11.3 billion pieces of mail and 567 million packages were delivered last month. And he said the Postal Service has stabilized its workforce and is ready for the next challenge of delivering holiday cards and parcels.

“We will not disappoint,” he told the Postal Service Board of Governors.

The Postal Service announced an adjusted operating loss of $473 million for the fiscal year when a one-time adjustment under the Postal Service Reform Act was excluded from the results.

The law that guaranteed six-day-a-week delivery also repealed a requirement that the Postal Service fully prepay retiree health benefits — an onerous requirement that others didn’t have to follow.

DeJoy said the Postal Service still faces challenges.

He said the new budget includes nearly $3 billion in retirement costs and $1.5 billion in inflation costs that are above what was planned, while mail volume is declining at a rate of about 3% per year.

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This story has been corrected to show that the Postal Service Reform Act repealed a requirement to prepay retiree health benefits, not pensions, and that the adjusted operating loss excluded one-time savings under that law.

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